Friday, April 26, 2013

Carpe Diem #181, Storyteller (provided by Sigrid)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today our new (soon to be) King Willem Alexander has his 46th birthday so I would like to offer him my congratulations with his birthday and with his crowning on April 30th. That he may live long in good health and happiness with his family.

OK ... back to our prompt for today. Today we share haiku on Storyteller (provided by Sigrid of Siggi of Maine ) a wonderful prompt as I look to myself of course. I am a 'storyteller' here and I have written two novels once, but this isn't a blog to promote my 'story telling skills', Carpe Diem is a place for inspiration and for writing and sharing haiku by others than me. I am a happy man ... you all are great haiku poets and I am glad that I may be your host here and that I can read wonderful haiku on all your wonderful websites and weblogs. I am honored that I may, and can be, your host ...


I think we are all storytellers. In our haiku we share little stories and big stories or sometimes we write a haibun (prose and haiku) in which we conclude a haiku. Storytellers are masters in telling stories think of all the wonderful authors we have around the world, or all the fairytales written by H.C. Andersen or the Brothers Grimm. I especially am a fan of fantasy-stories as e.g. The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan or the novels by J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter), but I also like the mysteries as written by Dan Brown. I am looking forward to Brown's new novel Inferno and I know that it will be worldwide on May 14th.

Matsuo Basho, the first haiku-master that wrote a haibun

Matsuo Basho, one of the four Great Haiku Masters, wrote a very well known haibun 'the narrow road to the deep north'. I have read that haibun several times and I even have written my own 'narrow road' inspired on a dream I had about following Basho's footsteps on the narrow road to the deep north.

We are all storytellers so I would like to challenge you in this episode of Carpe Diem to write a haibun. Write a haibun on a theme you have chosen yourself. I think it's fun and it gives you a new challenge to look in another way to the haiku you share here on Carpe Diem.


A strange morning

Just a day as any other day it was. I woke up early in the morning and took a shower. I am not a early-riser, but sometimes I have too. This day, after a bad night, I wasn't rising shine, but ... a shower does miracles. I slipped on my housecoat and went downstairs. I opened the curtains giving the sun room to shine into my house. Birds sang their song, leaves rustled in the Spring breeze and the Cherry Tree in full bloom. Just a morning in Spring as any morning in Spring, but today something was different. I felt somewhat weird ... 'First coffee', I thought. 'And than maybe I feel different'. I shivered, I never had had such an uncannily feeling.

a strange morning
flowers blooming, rustling leaves,
uncannily feeling

After my coffee the uncannily feeling continued ... 'The bad night breaks me up', I thought. I shook my head, shrugged my shoulders and straightened my back. 'This will be a good day. A day like any other day', I said firmly to myself.
That day went on and at the end of the day finally I lost my uncannily feeling ... 'tomorrow you will be seeing Abraham, you become 50', my wife said to me. I looked at her ... smiled ... 'This whole day I felt strange, but now I understand ... tomorrow I will gain respect for my wisdom and high age. So this day was the last day of my youth. Tomorrow I will be a mature man'.

saying goodbye
my youth has gone by
I am an old man


Well ... I hope you liked this episode of Carpe Diem and that it inspired you to write your own haibun. By the way ... no obligations ... if you don't want to write a haibun ... a haiku on storyteller is also ok.
This prompt will stay on 'till April 28th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new episode, Awakening (provided by Cathy of Haiku Plate Special), later on today around 10.00 PM (CET).


  1. Superbly interesting post - nice idea about the haibun. Your haibun is so powerful, so honest and real.I think it really exemplifies the genre.

  2. As you know I love haibun, and your example is just great. To me the prompt brought me to Iceland, and I wondered how you could combine kenning with haiku. I think you can create some great imagery with that. Snorri and Basho might have been an interesting meeting...

    1. Thank you Bjorn for this comment, but I don't understand what you mean with 'kenning'.

    2. Kenning is a picture language used in old Norse poetry. For example one can say "wave's steed" instead of ship. I think it could work great in haiku.

    3. Thank you for this explanation Bjorn. I think so that this 'kenning' will work in haiku too. Will give it a try.

    4. Maybe I can use a series of 'kenning' in a new prompt-list for Carpe Diem. I like these 'kennings' very much. Found a nice article on 'kenning' on Wikipedia.

    5. I actually think it could work... That type of clever imagery will be great for some of the poets.

  3. I've never done much haibun but I gave it a shot! I enjoyed your story and haiku. I hope you didn't fall doen the stairs!!

  4. The story teller the one who holds young and old in a trance with words. Great prompt...

  5. Fun prompt. I will have to try haibun on a day when I have less going on--it seems like an intriguing form.

  6. a really fun challenge today and i really enjoyed your haibun :)

  7. Thanks for this wonderful post and contribution Kristjaan. I've never attempted a Haiban before, though I know several of our contributors regularly do. Good fun :)

  8. I'm so glad you brought up the haibun - and I liked your "seeing Abraham" reference within it. I've done a few prose/haiku writings, playing with the haibun idea, and enjoy it tremendously. -j